A couple of years ago I committed to going to England this summer to meet with some of my online word-nerd friends. It was a pretty scary commitment to make, given that the financial situation was pretty tight at the time, but I haven’t been off the continent since 1988. I love so many things about England, and I’ve missed the place.
At this point it’s stopped being speculative and become real. I’ve renewed my passport and bought my airline ticket. I’ve ordered my British pounds from the credit union. I’m checking into accomodation – favouring hostels because of the price and the fact that I’m going to be spending as little time as possible there.
I’m hoping that I’ll have ideas for articles and stories come out of this trip. I plan to have a very good time, both with my friends and during the days I’ll have alone before and after. I want to visit the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert, and Westminster Abbey. I also want to go to Oxford to photograph gargoyles and decorative stonework.
I still have my library card for the Bodleian Library at Oxford. When you get that card, you have to take an oath not to take any fire into the library, or cause any to be lit there. Very cool – I wish all libraries had that oath! One of the manuscripts at the Bodleian is the Junius Manuscript (also called the Caedmon Manuscript).
In my fourth year of university I wrote a fairly extensive paper on the twenty-two zoomorphic (made of animals) initials in the text. On my second visit to Oxford I actually got to see the manuscript itself. That was an incredible experience – a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I won’t repeat that this year, but there are lots of other things to see and do.
I’ve also taken on a new job, as freelance editor to a small U.S.-based press. My friend Sue Kerr put me onto them – and them onto me – and this week I received my first MS for editing. Looking forward to the ride, and the possibility of having enough additional income to cut back to four days a week at the call center.
I’m slowly – much more slowly than I’d wanted – getting back into regular writing. I hope to be back up to my pre-break level in a week or two. I won’t stop when I go to England, but I’m not taking my computer, either. One more thing to have to look after. Instead I plan to write longhand. We’ll see where that takes me!